Recently, The Oklahoman criticized OK Policy for our opposition to a proposal under legislative consideration that would waive existing state laws that require insurance companies to provide coverage of basic health benefits as part of any policy for young adults. The editorial asserted that allowing insurance companies to offer “bare-bones coverage” would be an aggressive step in addressing the crisis of the uninsured in Oklahoma.
It’s helpful to begin by reviewing what is actually being considered. HB 2026, authored by Rep. Kris Steele, and HB 1038, authored by Rep. Doug Cox, would both allow insurance companies to offer health insurance products exempt from state benefit requirements in the individual market to persons under the age of 40. Oklahoma currently mandates coverage of about a dozen benefits. But more than half of these benefit requirements apply only for group coverage or for adults over the age of 40 (here’s an example of an apparent mandate that would be unaffected by these bills – coverage of routine obstetrical/gynecological exams is required only for group policies covering 50 employees or more).
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